SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif., Feb. 23, 2016— West Corporation’s trusted platform for school community engagement, SchoolMessenger today announced the creation of a web-based clearinghouse of materials designed to help school districts improve their understanding of, and compliance with, updated federal regulations for when they communicate with parents.
The new TCPA Resource Center fulfills demand by schools for more information about new guidance from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on its rules regarding the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). TCPA generally forbids calls made using automated dialing systems to any telephone number assigned to a mobile phone without prior express consent (or opt-in). The FCC treats an SMS text message in the same way as a voice call. There are exceptions for calls and texts made for “emergency purposes.”
To assist customers of the SchoolMessenger Communicate notification system – as well as those using other notification products – the TCPA Resource Center initially includes:
·“A Guide to Understanding the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and Best Practices for School Communications,” a new white paper for considering the TCPA in the context of overall school-to-home communications;
·A video archive of “Best Practices in School-Parent Communications Under TCPA,” an hour-long webinar jointly conducted with the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) with communications tips and Q&A;
·The full TCPA Omnibus Declaratory Ruling and Order issued by the FCC in mid-2015 to clarify provisions of the 1991 law, and the FCC’s own summary of TCPA rules, both to help schools understand the legal aspects more completely.
More resources will be added as they are developed. All of the materials in the TCPA Resource Center are available free of charge to K-12 school district leadership and staff.
“The clarification of the rules surrounding TCPA gives school districts an opportunity to take a fresh look at the mix of parent communication tools at their disposal, from automated voice calls and SMS text messages to email, websites, social media, and mobile app push notifications,” said Nate Brogan, senior vice president. “We’re committed to helping all districts better understand their options under TCPA so they can continue to deliver effective communications to parents, guardians and the broader school community.”
TCPA-related materials provided by SchoolMessenger are not intended to and do not provide legal advice. Schools are advised to consult with their legal counsel to best understand their options under the law.
SchoolMessenger Communicate, the flagship notification product, includes several tools to help districts manage opt-ins, opt-outs, and changing contact preferences of parents and others with whom schools regularly communicate.
To access the TCPA Resource Center, visit www.schoolmessenger.com/TCPA.
SchoolMessenger products, part of West Corporation, are K-12’s most-trusted communications solutions. Thousands of schools and other educational institutions in all 50 U.S. states and Canada depend on SchoolMessenger products and services. From notifications and websites to custom mobile apps and social media, school leaders have relied on the SchoolMessenger platform since 1999 to engage with their communities in multiple languages and on any device. To learn more about SchoolMessenger, visit www.schoolmessenger.com or call 888.527.5225.